As restrictions relax, there is a plea to the 160,000 people of our borough to carry on keeping safe and getting double jabbed.
Meanwhile as our COVID rates, driven by the Delta variant and infections in schools and hospitality venues, continue to rise there is a warning that a disruption to public and health services are unavoidable as workers are required to self-isolate.
As of this week, North East Lincolnshire had the second highest infection rate in the country running at 930 per 100,000. Public health officials say that whilst they want people to enjoy more freedoms, people here must do it with care and caution. This week 9 people were being treated at Diana Princess of Wales Hospital. Residents in one care home in the area have also tested positive for the virus.
From 19 July, we are still advising everyone to:
- Continue to wear masks inside;
- Keep your social distancing;
- Isolate if you have any symptoms and get tested
- Get double vaccinated: whilst the vaccination does not stop you catching COVID or transmitting it, it does teach your body how to fight the virus and stop it making you become very poorly.
- Consider taking a lateral flow test before and shortly after spending time around other people, particularly people who may be more vulnerable to the effects of the virus, from outside of your household.
Geoff Barnes, Deputy Director for Public Health at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “In our area we have the highest covid rate we’ve ever had. We need to remain extremely cautious going forwards. We need to get our numbers down and get things under control pretty quickly.
“We’ve had a perfect storm with the arrival of the Delta variant at the start of June, popularity in the resort, and the football. Things have come to together and overall, right from the start, we had fairly low rates so a lot of people hadn’t been exposed to the virus.
“In our area we don’t want to see people stop wearing face coverings in public spaces. I would strongly encourage people to go on wearing masks. It’s part of your public responsibility to protect others and I want people to carry on wearing them in our area.
“It is going to be difficult to resist the temptation to throw off all of the rules from 19th July and go back to how things used to be, but the reality is that the virus is still here, hospital cases are now rising and we need to keep doing those very small things that actually require very little effort but can save someone from falling very ill, ending up in hospital or worse.”
If you still need to get your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, you can attend one of our drop-in clinics. The next clinic is on Saturday 17 July between 10am and 4pm at Freshney Place, Grimsby – opposite Boots.
You can find other drop ins by visiting COVID Vaccine Drop In Clinics • NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG or ringing 0300 3000 500
As a growing number of people are required to self-isolate due to the high rates, North East Lincolnshire Council has said that services will fluctuate in the coming weeks – the same as the private sector where, for example, a number of hospitality venues have been forced to closure.
Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, added: “I’d like to thank the businesses and residents in the area for how they have behaved and helped us all out in the last 14 months or so. Covid feels like it’s been with us for a very long time now, but we mustn’t get complacent and let the virus get out of control. If everyone plays their part, we will hopefully see the numbers levelling off again, reducing as we go through the summer, and preparing us in the best way possible for the coming winter months.”
Operational staff are pulling out all the stops and adapting how they work to help keep vital services running.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “The Council has plans in place to keep disruption to a minimum and prioritise work.
“We are in the midst of a global pandemic and all sorts of services and supply chains are disrupted. Local authorities are not immune from that and there could be short delays to some services.
“If we don’t empty your bins on your scheduled collection day, please report it at www.nelincs.gov.uk/bins. You can report missed collections from 2:30pm until the following midday.
“Put your bins out by 7am the next day and we will empty them as soon as we can. Please do not call unless you have to.”
If staffing levels fall due to the virus and the need to self-isolate, we will move staff between services to deliver high priority and safety critical frontline tasks.
This may increase response times to less urgent matters, but we will always return and address this as soon as we can.
You can report concerns such as fly-tipping, overflowing litter bins, missed bins, and road and footpath repairs to us at www.nelincs.gov.uk/report-it. There is usually no need to call us.
From Monday the reception at the Municipal Offices in Grimsby will re-open from 9am until 4pm but it will be strictly for enquiries and signposting to services with no other functions operating from there.
People are asked to still call 01472 313131 instead of visiting, or for Council Tax, Benefits and Debt Recovery, call 0300 3030164 and follow the relevant option instructions. You can also seek advice online at www.nelincs.gov.uk.